The CCS ‘Talk Series’ Invites Diverse Artistic Perspectives To CCS

January 24, 2023
Crowd in an art gallery at the Taubman campus

For a little over a decade, CCS Section Chair of Sculpture, Chido Johnson has led the TALK Series with the help of students. The lecture series brings diverse groups of artists together on Thursdays during the academic year to discuss the methodologies and processes involved in creating their work in order to expose students to new ways of thinking.

“We are not a huge university, and we have to be conscious of our limited lenses, too,” Johnson said. “If we’re going to expose students to a global context of working, they need to be exposed to global practices, which is beyond us.”

The Series also emphasizes a sense of community and brings students, faculty, and local artists together into an intimate studio space, and balances the community setting even when it operates in a hybrid setting through Zoom.

Curating the lecturers for the series comes with the help of students—specifically, seniors. Depending on what students are working on, at that time, determines who comes to speak in the series to cater to diverse perspectives and artistic mediums. The series started with Johnson connecting with the art community in Detroit and inviting friends.

“The major importance is that the artist can reveal what cannot be Googled,” Johnson said. “The TALK is not an anthology of their work. It’s about going in-depth to a project and revealing methodology, processes, and tribulations, too, their struggles and pleasures.”

The Series hosted its final TALK of the semester on Dec. 8, 2022, inviting alumnus, sculptor, installation artist, and photographer, Scott Hocking (‘00). Hocking discussed past projects and how through art he had a way to transfer the angst that was inside of him onto his projects. 

One of Hockings’ projects, the TIRE PYRAMID, was an installation that was made out of tires that had been illegally dumped in various neighborhoods in Detroit. 2,109 tires were gathered over the course of one week and installed on the front lawn in Bloomfield Hills, a suburb in Oakland County. After two weeks, the tires were removed for recycling, but the tires ultimately ended up in another pile at the recycling plant.

The TALK Series returned on Thursday, January 19, 2023, after the holiday break with Kasper Ray O’Brien (Art Practice, ‘17). O’Brien uses both drawing and sculpture to consider the relationship between the body as a condensed expression of force and the potency of the fragment. By casting directly from his own body, O’Brien confronts and engages with personal narratives involving sex, queerness, trauma, and comfort. Through the concept of the mask, he contends with self-image, persona, and performative anonymity. 

Attendees are welcome every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room B102 on the Ford Campus inside of the Kresge Ford Building.


Fine Arts